|Quarry Plaza, UC Santa Cruz.|
Approximately 200 students attended the rally, which was held at Quarry Plaza. Students were encouraged to speak, and were given about two minutes each to voice their opposition and to explain how the tuition increases would affect them. Signs were also displayed around Quarry Plaza that detailed some of the major issues of concern, as they relate to the financing of the UC system.
Dozens of students spoke and expressed a diverse range of views.
"The UC Regents are using us as bargaining chips to get what they want from the government," one student said at the rally. "Meanwhile, they are raising the Chancellor's pay."
The student also lamented how the UC Santa Cruz administration had created a housing crisis by enrolling too many students this year. "People are sleeping in the forest, people are sleeping on couches," the student said.
"It's not just the tuition hikes, it's also the rising cost of living in Santa Cruz," the student said. "It's just ridiculous."
One student made the case that the University of California is no longer a public institution. "We pay more into the UC than the state does," the student said.
"So if we are paying more than the state, by what definition is that a public institution?"
The student also pointed out that none on the Board of Regents are experts in education, they are political appointees.
"I just want to point out that fucking Germany has free tuition," another student said at the rally. "Fucking Germany!"
"This is America. We are supposed to be one of the greatest countries in the world and our tuition is so fucked. We can't go to college because it is so expensive," the student explained.
Following that statement, many in the audience shouted out "shame" repeatedly.
The next student to speak continued along those lines. "In my opinion, education should be a right, not a privilege," the student said.
Another student who spoke at the rally said that some of his friends who are international students are now trying to figure out if they should drop out of UCSC and go home, following the announcement of the proposed tuition increases.
One student who spoke expressed opposition to the UC system's investments in fossil fuel companies, which is related to a multitude of injustices for which the UC system is responsible.
"The injustice that is happening on this campus is happening all over the world. It's the same system that is destroying the trees in Upper Campus, that is destroying our ability to go to school, that is destroying our climate. It's all the same system."